Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Stow Lake

Biddy and I walked around Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park today. It's one of our most favorite walks, most favorite adventures, most favorite destinations in San Francisco.

We fed baby ducks and big ducks, baby geese and big geese.

We saw great blue heron, turtles sunning themselves on rocks, and seagulls. We jumped a waterfall, explored the Japanese Pavilion, dodged sprinklers, climbed wood-chip piles, chased pigeons and hugged trees.

We smelled magnificent flowers. San Francisco is blooming. It's vibrant. What a beautiful time of year. We're going to miss it.

Monday, April 27, 2009

So Long San Francisco, Hello Rocky Mountains

This post is excerpted from an email I wrote to our San Francisco community on April 23, 2009.

I don't really know how to say this so I'm going to come right out and say it. 

On May 19, B, Biddy and I are moving to Colorado. We are very excited about our new adventure. We will definitely be leaving a piece of our hearts here in San Francisco–a city we truly love. We met here, Biddy was born here, we have beautiful friends and family here, we grew and prospered here -- we have lived an amazing life here. 

We've been talking about making this move since I was pregnant, so we've definitely mulled this decision over. Since Biddy is now 2 1/2 and almost ready for preschool, we agree that now is the right time. We both want him to have a backyard and a street on which he can ride his bicycle, and right now we're unable to give him that here in San Francisco. 

We also have a ton of family in Colorado. My mom, my dad and stepmom, my two step brothers, a bunch of Brandon's uncles, cousins, and his Godfather. His mom is even moving back when she retires in two years (she grew up there) and his dad is only a short RV ride away. We want Biddy to grow up with his grandparents. He deserves that. They come to visit often but it isn't the same as being right down the road.

So we are moving. We gave notice on the apartment last Tuesday and B gave notice at work last Wednesday. We have less than one-month to pack up and say our goodbyes. Goodbyes that will be difficult. 

To all you Mamma Boo fans who check the blog regularly -- sorry for my hiatus last week. Details got the best of me but I'm now back on track for at least a sentence or two each day through the move. I'm sure you'll be gripped by the skinny of packing up five lives (don't forget the cats) and moving half-way across the country. Wish us luck!

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Gene Kelly Moment

"Mommy, go for a walk?"
"Yes Biddy, in a bit. It's a gorgeous day."
"Mommy, wear boots?"
"Biddy, I think you'll be hot and besides, they're difficult to run in. I don't want you to trip."
"Mommy, I want wear boots." he said emphatically holding his red, fire truck inspired rain boots.
"Are you sure?"

I laughed. This kid has such a good memory. Last week on an early morning walk after a big storm, we watched two kids jump with delight in each and every puddle they could find. He wanted so badly to do the same, but without his rain boots I nixed the idea saying we would go puddle jumping with boots soon. Although we've been on many walks since, neither of us have thought to don boots...until today.

"I'm not sure how many puddles we're going to find Biddy. It hasn't rained in a while."
"Let's go see."
"Okay, honey. We'll go on a puddle jumping adventure."
"Yes Mommy. Let's find puddles and jump."

An hour later, that's exactly what we did! (Sorry for my off-key singing mid-video. I got caught up in the Gene Kelly moment!)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Painting with Fingers, Painting with Toes

Biddy and I finger-painted the other day. 

In order to prepare, I took Biddy's pants and socks off, changing his diaper in the process (out of courtesy and habit), and put on an almost-too-small shirt we didn't mind getting messy. I also swept the kitchen floor to rid any fallen crumbs. We got out his paints. He has a set we've used before when making a Father's Day masterpiece but he wanted to use his new paints–the ones he'd been given for Christmas. We then got out the big roll of kraft paper.

I laid two pieces of paper on the linoleum. Biddy was giddy as I opened each tube, removing the foil seal, allowing the paint to flow freely. He began by squirting a big dollop of red and then gleefully smearing it. Blue was next–squirt then smear. Green–squirt, smear. Yellow–squirt, smear. And round-robin to red again. 

While Biddy was soaking his sheet of paper with color, I daintily tried to channel Monet and make a masterpiece of my own. I quickly abandoned being Monet's apprentice however, as I got so absorbed in Biddy's process. He was fascinating to watch. He would apply color and then thoughtfully consider where the next hue would go. Sometimes he used a broad stroke while other times a simple finger swirl would do.


At one point, we thought it would be fun to make footprints so Biddy stood up and stepped in the red. Squishy and cold between the toes. I wanted him to walk across the paper but instead, he decided to do a happy dance–half on the paper and half on the linoleum. Up until this point, both floor and Biddy were relatively paint-free but that didn't last long. As soon as his wet red foot hit the dry white floor, he slipped and slid and lost his footing. As he dropped to the ground, he began to giggle. I helped him up as he continued to giggle, and slip and slide, and fall down and giggle, and get up and giggle, and slip and slide and giggle some more. It was so funny I had to get it on video, this time with blue paint. We've watched it several times since and each time he sees himself, he giggles once more. Enjoy.

In all, Biddy made five beautiful paintings that day. Three have dried and are signed by the artist, while the fourth, his body art, washed away when he bathed, and the fifth, the kitchen floor, was mopped and scoured and is now shiny once again. 

I realized, as I carried Biddy dripping with paint directly to the bath from the kitchen and again as I spic-and-spanned the floor, why we don't do this activity all too often. While prep time is a piece of cake, clean up is excessive and makes mommy grumble.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Why Biddy?

Have you ever wondered how Biddy got the nickname Biddy? 

When he was itty bitty, B and I started calling him Bitty. Then one day, B called me from the office saying he wanted to officially change Bitty's nickname to Biddy. 

"Why?" I asked.

His answer?

"If Sean "Diddy" Combs can change his name eighteen times then so can our Biddy."

Biddy was born that day.

By the way, we aren't huge Diddy fans–we just admire his name changing hutzpa.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I Heart Adam Lambert

Adam makes me smile. He inspires me. My heart soared last night hearing him sing. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

Monday, April 6, 2009

We Got Bonked!

"We got bonked?"
"Yes, Biddy. We had an accident." 
"Well, another car hit us."  
"The guy said his foot slipped off the brake pedal and hit the gas pedal."  
"I don't know Biddy. He didn't mean to do it. It was an accident and accidents happen sometimes."  
"We got bonked?"  
And the conversation began anew.
We got rear-ended on Friday coming back from music class. We were waiting our turn, to turn left when it happened. Oncoming traffic was heavy. Biddy and I were looking forward to lunch and a nap, and were only about four blocks from the house, when BOOM–we were hit.
My initial reaction was to provide commentary exclaiming, "We were just rear-ended!" I then turned to Biddy asking, "Are you alright? Are you okay?" This is when he began to cry. He calmed down quickly, and was physically fine, but the loud BOOM of being hit and mommy's scared reaction was scary and overwhelming.    

The guy who hit us motioned to make the left before pulling over to exchange information. In shock but still with wits, I realized this was a safer option than jumping out and inspecting the car on a major thoroughfare. I nodded agreement, soothed Biddy, made the left, pulled over, got out shaking, and met the guy that hit us. I think we even shook hands (his prompting, not mine) and then surveyed the damage. Our bumper looked torn up, cut and scarred. His bumper and his hood looked both wrinkled and crushed. Apparently his Civic is lower to the ground than our Passat.   

He greeted me with paperwork in hand. I hadn’t yet thought to retrieve mine. I couldn't think of much else except Biddy, opening the rear door to again make sure he was okay, telling the guy I needed to check on my boy. "I okay, Mommy. I okay." The guy was very nice asking if I needed paper. I said I did. I got my information and gave it to him. Both of us bent over the trunk copying essentials. He took full responsibility saying he would call Geiko at 1:30 pm when he returned home and tell them it was his fault. He said he was sorry about ten times; he asked after Biddy about eleven times.    

Information exchanged, we got back in our cars and drove away. Still shaking, I called B saying, “Looks like a new bumper is in our future!” Admittedly, this was a bit crass but I was venting. When we got home, Biddy and I played for a while and talked. I wanted to observe him, making sure he was fine, and he wanted to talk about what happened over and over.    

"We got bonked?"  
"Yes, Biddy. We got into an accident."  
"Another car ran into us."  
"The guy's foot slipped off the brake pedal and hit the gas pedal."  
"I’m not sure honey. He didn't mean to do it. It was an accident and accidents happen sometimes."  
"We got bonked?"  
And the conversation began anew.   

We must have had this same conversation at least thirty times throughout the day until Biddy felt satisfied in understanding.   

The accident freaked B out too, so he came home early from work to make sure we were both alright. I made grilled cheese sandwiches for the three of us and then put Biddy down for a nap. He slept for three-hours! Poor guy, he was completely tuckered out. 
I called our insurance company and filed a claim. True to his word, the guy called me around 1:40 pm to apologize again and give me the claim number he had just filed. Geiko called immediately afterwards. I spent about fifteen minutes on the phone with them. They're going to fix it, give us a rental car for the time it's in the shop, and they're going to reimburse us for a new car seat. According to California law, if your child is sitting in his car seat during an accident, the car seat must be inspected and replaced. Who knew?

I was out of it after talking to both insurance companies. Instead of doing anything productive, I spent an hour or so reading US magazine in the sun with a heating pad on my back. It was bothering me–not sure if it was from the jolt or just because my back is a bother but it is fine today. After Biddy woke, the three of us headed to Babies R’ Us to buy another car seat as we need to have it on-hand when we arrive at the repair shop next week. 
My hands stopped shaking after about an hour but my heart felt shaky until finally falling asleep. It's one thing to get into an accident by yourself but having your baby, (your flesh and blood, your be-all-and-end-all in the car with you) bumps the significance factor up to a whole new stratosphere.   

What if he was hurt? Thank goodness he wasn't. What if it was worse? Thank goodness it wasn't. What if? What if? What if? Thank goodness "What if?" didn’t happen. Thank goodness we only got bonked!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I'm exhausted. Completely worn out. 

By Thursday–Thursday night to be exact, I'm done. Stick a fork in me, I'm well done. Beached potato on an ocean-colored-couch done. Did I mention that I'm a medium rare girl? Did I mention well done grosses me out? It makes me think grey, bland and void of nutrients. 

By Thursday, the weight of being a stay-at-home mom is heavy. Being a stay-at-home mom is a really hard job!

By Thursday night, all I want is to watch Survivor and not speak to anyone about anything significant. I don't want to talk on the phone. I don't want to read, write, or play on the computer. I don't want to teach, explain, count, sing or answer the question "why?". I don't want to do anything. I'm a zombie. I'm blank. I've given all I can give. 

I don't remember being like this when I was commuting every day.

I honestly think working in an office is easier. When I was employed, I could, at least, carve out a few minutes of "ME time" each day. I could go off at lunch, and veg out in the sun listening to music, or shop at the mall, or sit at my desk and surf the Internet. 

Tonight I'm going to indulge my inner reality-watching, couch-lying, eyes-crossing, mind-blanking self and hang with my SELF and Gracie who is loving the attention and lying in my lap. Meow.

Tomorrow, I'm going to again do what I do best–be a mom, and I'm going to love doing it, every single second of the day.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hair Magic

B used to color his hair. He was black and beautiful when we first met.

Since moving in, and my telling him I thought his salt and pepper was sexy, he has stopped seeing a colorist. 

Two months ago he was looking a bit pale and in need of some oomph, so I suggested a bit of color might do him good. He was completely game. 

Instead of black we bought dark-brown-in-a-box (more in line with his natural color). Clairol for men, who knew? I've never colored my hair from a box so it was all new to me. It was messy but easy and he looked gorgeous after a rinse and style. 

So last Saturday, B had his hair cut and when he came home, was ready for a color touch-up. I told Biddy I was going to color daddy's hair and asked if he wanted to help.

He excitedly exclaimed, "Yes!"

Biddy then ran to his desk where his art supplies are stored and got his yellow magic marker and ran back to B. Pulling his pant leg indicating he wanted B to bend, he said, "Daddy, I color your hair. I color your hair." He had already pulled off the cap and was ready to paint.

B obligingly bent down allowing Biddy to color. A sweet moment that took some effort to erase from B's scalp and forehead.